10 Things Sellers Should Know About a Residential Real Estate Closing

Web Admin - Monday, June 18, 2018
Arlington Heights residential real estate lawyerSelling a home can be a stressful process, but once a buyer has made an offer and agreed to buy your house, the end of the process is in sight. However, there are still a variety of issues which may need to be resolved and matters which will need to be settled before the sale is complete. Here are 10 things you should take care of as you complete your residential real estate closing:

1. Address home inspection issues - The buyer will pay for a home inspection, which may uncover a variety of issues that they may ask you to correct or repair. You can preempt some of the issues by having your own home inspection completed prior to listing. This will give you an idea of the issues that may be raised later or minor issues that you can resolve prior to accepting an offer. Be sure to complete any agreed repairs prior to the date of closing and provide paid receipts to show that the required work has been done. 
2. Review the property survey - The standard Illinois contracts require the seller to provide the buyer with a survey of the property. If you have an existing survey, you should be sure to review this survey to make sure that the boundaries of the property are defined correctly and there are no issues that may arise with the new survey. Some buyers, especially in cash deals, will accept the existing survey, if no new improvements have been made. 
3. Get ready for the final walkthrough - Buyers will typically visit the home prior to closing to check the property and make sure repairs have been done. Be sure everything has been taken care of before this walkthrough and make sure no unexpected issues arise. If necessary, you may need to address issues the buyers find or negotiate a payment for problems they discover.
4. Review your settlement - Your closing documents will include a seller’s closing statement detailing the money being paid and received. Be sure to review this statement for accuracy including the payoff amounts of any of your loans or mortgages.
5. Bring documentation to closing - At closing, be sure to bring your photo ID, the paid receipts for repairs, and any information the buyer will need, such as codes to security systems.
6. Resolve last-minute details - If something is not in the same condition at walkthrough as it was when the offer was accepted, that item will need to be resolved at the closing table, or the closing may need to be postponed.
7. Be prepared to pay closing costs - You will typically be required to pay for certain items, such as commissions for real estate agents, outstanding property taxes or utility bills, and related fees, including title fees and attorney’s fees. Your realtor or attorney should inform you of the exact amount that you will need to pay at closing.
8. Transfer utilities - Utilities should be kept active until after the closing, at which point you can transfer service to the buyer.
9. Cancel homeowner’s insurance - Once closing is complete, you can cancel your homeowner’s insurance policy. You may receive a refund for any remaining months which you have already paid.
10. Keep your paperwork in a safe place - Be sure to keep all of the papers from the closing in a place where you can easily access them in case any questions or issues arise.

Contact a Riverwoods Residential Real Estate Attorney

If you have any questions about the processes followed during your home closing, or if you need an attorney’s assistance when selling your home, contact a Kenilworth real estate lawyer at Drost, Gilbert, Andrew & Apicella, LLC. Call our office at 847-934-6000 to schedule a consultation.

About the Author: Attorney Jay Andrew is a founding partner of Drost, Gilbert, Andrew & Apicella, LLC. He is a graduate of the University of Dayton School of Law and has been practicing in estate planning, probate, trust administration, real estate law, residential/ commercial leasing, contracts, and civil litigation. Since 2005, Jay has been a Chair of the Mock Trial Committee for the Annual Northwest Suburban Bar Association High School Mock Trial Invitation which serves over 240 local Illinois students each year.


Zoning of Real Estate

Web Admin - Tuesday, January 19, 2016

zoning of real estate, Illinois Real Estate AttorneyIf you are a business owner searching the market for commercial real estate, it is critical to be aware of, and understand, the various zoning laws. These laws will impact what you are allowed to do on the property. Therefore, determining the types of activities your business will engage in is also important when looking for commercial property. 

What Do Zoning Laws Do? 

Under Illinois law, local municipalities can utilize zoning laws (also referred to as zoning ordinances or land use regulations) in order to protect communities and regulate their growth. These laws establish zones of property that can only be used for specific purposes. There are numerous types of zones, including: 

1. Residential;

2. Commercial, such as retail stores, office buildings, and hotels;Industrial, which involves manufacturing facilities;

3. Agricultural, which are areas designated for farming activities; and

4. Recreational. 

Hence, for example, an individual would be prohibited from opening a manufacturing plant in an area zoned for residential use. However, most real estate, with the exception of single-family homes and lots, can be commercial real estate, as you have probably seen an old building once used for manufacturing changed into office or retail space. 

Zoning laws regulate various activities of businesses for numerous reasons, such as ensuring areas receive adequate light, to protect against the risk of fires and to minimize congestion on public streets. Some of the common laws enacted regulate: 

1. Noise level;

2. Appearance of the building (such as its height and proximity to other buildings);

3. Whether parking must be provided; and

4. Size, placement, and appearance of signs.

Depending on the type of business, the more or less relevant certain restrictions may be. For instance, the limits on the amount of noise that can be produced likely does not affect a grocery store, but may greatly impact a nightclub. Other regulations, such as those related to the appearance of signs attached to the building, will likely affect any type of commercial use of the property. 

The zoning laws make it important for business owners to check their local ordinances to ensure that they will be allowed to perform the types of activities necessary to operate the business. It is important to not simply rely on the activities that the previous tenant or owner conducted because past use is not an indicator that the same future use is permissible. For example, generally speaking, when a new law is passed that prohibits activity, the current occupant is allowed to continue to conduct the activity that is now prohibited (called non-conforming use). However, when a new occupant enters the property, he or she must conform to the law (it is impermissible to continue the nonconforming use).

Real Estate Help 

The success of your business can be significantly impacted by leasing or purchasing real property that does not fit with the activities your business needs to conduct. For more information about commercial property, contact a skilled Illinois real estate attorney today. Our firm provides legal representation for individuals in the communities of Inverness, Palatine, Schaumburg, Arlington Heights, Long Grove, Kenilworth, Riverwoods, Barrington, South Barrington, and Mount Prospect.

About the Author: Founding partner of Drost, Gilbert, Andrew & Apicella, LLC, Colin Gilbert, received his J.D. from Chicago-Kent College of law in 2005. Colin argues cases across many practice areas including criminal defense, collections, civil litigation, real estate law, and corporate law. Colin is an active member of the Board of Governors of the Northwest Suburban Bar Association and the Illinois Creditors Bar Association. He is currently Vice President of the Arlington Heights Chamber of Commerce, and is a Commissioner for the Village of Arlington Heights. Colin has a 10.0 Attorney rating on Avvo, and was named one of the 2014 “Top 40 Under 40” Trial Lawyers in Illinois by the National Trial Lawyers Association.



Chicago Landlord Tenant Ordinance

Web Admin - Friday, May 08, 2015

landlord tenant ordinance, Schaumburg real estate lawyerOver 60 percent of Chicago residents live in rental housing. As a result, the laws governing the landlord-tenant relationship are very important. The Chicago Landlord Tenant Ordinance governs a majority of the residential rental agreements within the city. The Ordinance places certain duties on both landlords and tenants.

What Does the Ordinance Do?

Generally, the Ordinance covers any rental units under written or oral leases. However, the Ordinance does not cover the following:

  • - Units in owner-occupied buildings that have less than six units;
  • - Units in hotels, motels, inns, or bed-and-breakfast establishments, unless rent is paid monthly and the unit is occupied by the tenant for more than 32 days;
  • - Dormitories or shelters; and
  • - Owner-occupied co-operatives.

The Ordinance requires that tenants abide by all of the obligations of the Municipal Code. Some of these duties include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • - Maintaining smoke and carbon monoxide detectors (for example, by ensuring that working batteries are in the detectors);
  • - Keeping the unit as safe as the conditions of the premises permits;
  • - Avoiding disturbing other tenants; and
  • - Not causing any damage to the unit.

Landlords are also placed under duties by the Ordinance. A landlord is required to maintain the property in compliance with the Municipal Code. This includes maintaining heating facilities, the structural integrity of the building, and the building’s plumbing system, among numerous other items.

Further, a landlord cannot require a tenant to renew a lease agreement more than 90 days before an existing agreement ends. Additionally, a landlord must provide a tenant with at least 30 days written notice if the rental agreement will not be renewed. If this required notice is not given, a tenant may remain in the unit for 60 days under the same terms and conditions as the last month of the existing agreement.

Remedies for Defects

If a property has a minor defect, a tenant’s first step to remedy the issue is to provide written notice to the landlord indicating that if the landlord does not correct the defect, the tenant will have the defect corrected at the landlord’s expense. The landlord has 14 days to correct the issue before the tenant can take action. The cost to correct the issue cannot be more than the greater of $500 or one half of the monthly rent. After 14 days, if the landlord has not taken corrective action, the tenant can have the repairs completed. The tenant can then submit to the landlord a paid bill and deduct the cost of the work from the rent.

For a material noncompliance to maintain the premises, a tenant may withhold rent in an amount that reasonably reflects a reduction in value of the premises as a result of that material noncompliance. This withholding of rent may continue for as long as the material noncompliance continues. However, the withholding can only begin after 14 days have passed since the landlord was given written notice of the condition.  

If you would like more information about the rights and obligations of the parties involved in a residential rental relationship, you should speak with an experienced Illinois real estate attorney today. Whether you are a landlord or tenant, Drost, Gilbert, Andrew & Apicella, LLC can help. Our office proudly represents clients in the Schaumburg, Palatine, and Long Grove areas, among many others. 

About the Author: Founding partner of Drost, Gilbert, Andrew & Apicella, LLC, Colin Gilbert, received his J.D. from Chicago-Kent College of law in 2005. Colin argues cases across many practice areas including criminal defense, collections, civil litigation, real estate law, and corporate law. Colin is an active member of the Board of Governors of the Northwest Suburban Bar Association and the Illinois Creditors Bar Association. He is currently Vice President of the Arlington Heights Chamber of Commerce, and is a Commissioner for the Village of Arlington Heights. Colin has a 10.0 Attorney rating on Avvo, and was named one of the 2014 “Top 40 Under 40” Trial Lawyers in Illinois by the National Trial Lawyers Association.

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